spring fever- literally

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

I just let a mosquito accidentally slip into our room as I was opening the window. He had been trapped between the glass and the screen–now he’s in our house. No worries, we’ll meet again when it’s 2 AM and the blasted thing buzzes my ear and I have to kill it before I can sleep again. The wand is charging in anticipation of our future meeting.

Spring is in the air, if only for a few short weeks. Then we will be getting AC’s cleaned out and ready for use. Spring is far too short here–it’s already getting hot during the day even though people are still wearing sweaters and wool scarves–but they do at least have on flip-flops or sandals.

And I can’t remember the last time it rained. Maybe last month? Or was that just fog? I think it was last year. In any case, it’s been a while and the air is full of dust that blankets our car and blows into the apartment so our feet turn brown on bottom. Gross.

Cleaning is a daily routine around here– if not the dust builds up on the floors and furniture overnight. And since we don’t have a dishwasher the dirty dishes require constant attention because if not, the ants will attempt a take over. And guess what, I discovered this morning that they’re back too.

So Spring. Flowers blooming, trees budding and life that was sleeping decides to wake up again. I felt like I was hibernating as well in a way. I just needed some time to do one of my favorite activities: pondering. I don’t think people spend enough time pondering. It is time well spent as long as you don’t ponder too much about just you–then it becomes not-so-good and a little depressing. But that’s another post altogether.

The winter here is great because it’s short and provides a reprieve from pests and cozy days huddled by the oil heater. Now, my laundry does take three days to dry on the line when it’s cold. Which is terribly inconvenient. But now that Spring is here the laundry is drying just fine, however my old friends mosquito and ant are coming back. There’s always a trade off.

And let me not forget to mention that change of weather means illnesses abound. February was rough on that front. And one night was so bad it was actually funny, but you might be eating your lunch so I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say that stomach acid does in fact eat through marble enamel fairly quickly. Lesson learned. Right now, two of little ones actually have had viral fever cause by the weather. And I’ve found that any time I mention illness the weather is immediately to blame. That pesky Weather! What a knave!

So enjoy your Spring-time if you are here and if not enjoy the idea that someone somewhere is having a Spring-time while you are enduring a blizzard in the Mid-West. Your time will come soon enough and I will be on to other things such as scorching, suffocating heat.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

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a charming note

In the book Making a Literary Life author Carolyn See suggests writing charming notes (her words) to authors who have inspired you. This exercise is slightly, okay, really intimidating to me, but I can see the benefits of it so I decided to give it a try.

Because of where I live letters are not the best option available– I am very frightened of the post office actually having only gone there once where I saw a mass of people pushing and scrambling to get to the desk. It didn’t seem like something I wanted to be a part of due to my fear of being groped and all, so I decided that the regular post is to be avoided at all costs.

Instead, I opted for an email. I wrote a short but charming note expressing my gratefulness then re-read it about twenty times and agonized over my word choice. Do I sound witty? Or silly? Is it too formal? Too familiar? Seriously. It was five lines, but you would have thought I was sending a letter to Queen Elizabeth the way I fussed over it.

I finally pressed the send button and went to bed. The next morning I checked my inbox as usual. And to my surprise I had gotten a response! A very brief but friendly response. It was the most encouraging thing of the week aside from the fact that no one in my household threw up and we’ve had consistent power. I think I might throw a party tonight.

If you are an aspiring writer or dreamer I highly recommend See’s book mentioned above. Honestly, I hope that some day I’m receiving as well as sending these kinds of notes out. We’ll see. But it’s like my mother-in-law always says, “If you never have a dream, you never have a dream come true.” Exactly.

Have a great weekend!

tackling the doldrums

January was a hard month for me. Perhaps it was some sort of post-holiday fatigue combined with other emotionally draining things that made it hard, but moving forward I feel like changes have to be made for my own good. So as I hobble into February weighed down by the winter doldrums, I’ve been looking for ways to break out of this funkiness. As such, I’m going to see if making some minor changes will help get me back to being creative and feeling like myself again.

One thing that’s got to go is Facebook. It’s a drain on my time and honestly my mental well-being. Because I live so far away from most of my friends and all of my family Facebook helped me feel a little more connected. But as time wears on I find that I need a break. Lately, I check it several times a day to see what I’ve missed or if anyone has left any comments under my status updates. I just don’t have a healthy approach to it now–if there is one. And honestly I want more depth in my relationships and FB is not the way to get that. It is nothing more than an unnecessary mental distraction for me right now, so it has to go until further notice.

Another thing is exercise. I don’t exercise regularly–at all– but it’s something that I have to get into the habit of doing. Let’s face it, in my mid-thirties gravity and Southern cooking are working against me. Exercising five mornings a week is a change I want and need to make.

I also need to get back to writing, which in this case involves the arduous process of revising my very rough first draft for two hours a day with the goal of having it completed this month.

And finally, I’m going to try to be more discerning with how I use my time. I was teaching my kids the other day about being careful with what you put into your mind and realized that I haven’t been so discerning with that lately myself. I want to be cautious about what I read, listen to, and watch on the television.

I had thought of taking a step back from blogging, but then I was reminded that I blog mostly so I can process life–an electronic journal, if you will. Having readers is great; I love the fact that people are willing to give me a morsel of their time–thank you! But I’m not going to worry about my blog stats this month, instead I’m focusing on consistency in getting posts up ever few days. Hopefully I can break out of the winter doldrums and get back on track.